ATF Disrupts Plot to Assassinate Barack Obama

by Steve Handlesman

NBC News

Federal officials announced on Monday they've charged two men with planning to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and kill African American students.

The arrests distracted from Obama's so called "final argument" to voters.

In a speech from Pittsburgh he called for unity, urging voters to choose "hope over fear."

Daniel Cowart, 20, of Tennessee and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of Arkansas, were charged with planning to assassinate Obama and kill dozens of black students.

There is no indication that Obama was actually in danger.

Meanwhile, but for the first time, NBC News calculates that if the election were held today, Obama would have the electoral votes to beat rival John McCain.